Gluten free options
I’m not even going to try and pretend that I’m not crazy in love with these cupcakes! I had my character, Olivia Kent, bake these in The Cake Maker’s Wish because I found recipes online and thought they would be amazing. But… when I went to make them, I found them seriously lacking in flavour. It was so disappointing. I love the intensity of lemon meringue pie and lemon curd so I wasn’t going to have a bar of that! I changed the recipes to jack up the flavours, big time. Now, they burst with lemon and the seductive aroma and flavour of strawberries. Every mouthful inspires hope and happiness, perfect as a winter warmer to chase away the blues.
I’m not going to lie, though: these are not quick to make. But, oh, they are worth it, especially for a special occasion.
Cake Part 1
- 125g butter, room temperature
- 1 cup castor sugar
- zest of three lemons
- 3 egg whites
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cake Part 2
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose plain flour (or gluten free plain flour)
- 3 Tb arrowroot or cornflour (check that it’s gluten free cornflour if you want them GF)
- 2 tsp baking powder (check specs for GF)
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 250g butter
- 500g pure icing sugar (check specs for GF)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh strawberries (hulled)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
(Note: These quantities will make more than enough buttercream for your cupcakes. You can reduce these quantities if you wish, keeping the ration of 2:1 for icing sugar to butter, or freeze the excess and use later for biscuits or a loaf cake of some sort. I always figure that if I’m making something I might as well make a lot of it to freeze some for later.)
- Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan forced) and line your cupcake trays with paper. (This batch will make approximately 16 cupcakes.)
- In a mixing bowl, beat your butter and lemon zest, then add in the sugar and beat again until well mixed and fluffy. Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat to combine.
- In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients of ‘Cake Part 2’ together, then add half of it to the butter mixture, mix to combine, then add half the sour cream, mix to combine, then repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and sour cream. Finally, add the lemon juice and beat again to form a batter.
- Fill your cupcake papers to 2/3 full and put them into the oven. The cakes will take 20-25 minutes, give or take. (I have a slow oven and mine took 30 mins.)
- Place your strawberries into a blender and blitz until consistent.
- Transfer the strawberries into a small pot and heat on the stove until they are gently boiling, stirring often. Continue to cook them until they have reduced down to approximate the colour and consistency of tomato sauce.
- Cool the sauce before adding it to the buttercream, otherwise it will melt the butter. (Putting it in the fridge is helpful.)
- Make sure your icing sugar is as free of lumps as possible. You may need to dry beat it first. (Bashing it on the kitchen bench also helps!)
- Beat your butter, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add approximately three tablespoons of the strawberry sauce and beat until combined.
- You may like to use a piping bag to pipe the cream or simply spoon it on! If you wish, you might like to decorate your cupcakes with extra strawberries or edible flowers for an added touch of beauty.
Enjoy! These really are divine 🙂
Order your copy of The Cake Maker’s Wish HERE.